Thursday, January 31, 2013

Saying Goodbye

I had to say goodbye to my boy Flynn on Tuesday. This is the last picture I took of him. He was the first dog that was just mine. He was my mothers day gift fourteen years ago. We spent so many great moments together. walked together, herded sheep together, traveled to many states, camped together, and so much more. He was my companion and my friend and he has left a huge hole in my life. I like to think he is off chasing sheep in a huge pasture in the sky.  So long Flynn you were the best dog ever.

The house has been so quiet, I have had a hard time getting used to it all. After a session with my coach where she suggested a memorial rock or something for my garden to remember Flynn. It being winter I thought of something else, an altar.  So I collected all my border collies and added Flynn's picture and a little sheep for him to chase.  It will do for now.

Then I turned to art which I have missed.  It felt great to be working on my journal again. I loved how this background turned out. I didn't quite know what I wanted to add to the page.  It has been awhile since I painted a face so it felt great to be painting again.

I played with this page some more. I am not sure what will come next but its fun to play with.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Happy Birdies

Its been a rough few days, on Thursday I had an emergency trip to the dentist which led to a visit with a root canal specialist on Friday. My worst dental experience ever. I was having dental surgery to clena out an abcess and deal with a problem root. The novacaine was not working so I had to endure the surgery with nothing. It was a horrific. Recovery has been slow too. I can eat a little better now but my mouth is still sore. what an ordeal that was.

Needless to say there has not been much art created around here. I have been drawing and coloring in these little birdies on old book pages. I think they look happy.

I started with a shape in charcoal pencil and used various mediums to color them in.

This one I modeled after the Eastern Blue bird. I gessoed the page first and then used gelatos. I think the gesso makes the color come out richer.

This is a piece of watercolor paper that I am playing with. I started with golden fluid paint and Daler-Rowney Inks. This is just a first step, I'll be adding many layers after this one.

I've been into knitting a lot this winter. I really fell in love with Dr. Who and there are some fun things to knit from the show. I decided to start with these

Since I am not a pink kind of girl I chose this yarn, its a merino wool/mulberry silk blend in a beautiful shade of teal. The yarn feels so luscious.

My friend Cyndi from Salt Lake and I were going to do these at the same time.  I decided to head over to Ravelry, its an awesome site for knitters and crocheters. I thought I'd start a group where we could knit this together. I never imagined that 58 other people would join in. What fun. Its great to see these fingerless mitts made in so many different yarns.  I am having  fun with it.

I ended have to start over several times but now I think I have got the hang of it.

Monday, January 21, 2013


Thought I would feel great and back to normal today but alas, still feel yucky. Here is what I have been working on. Lady Violet's Dinner gauntlets.  They are inspired by something Maggie Smith wore in Downton Abbey season 1.  They are still unfinished as we get only a small clue each week.  I think we will be working on a lace cuff next week. They have been fun to make so far.

I ordered myself one of these necklaces with my word of the year on it. It will be a great reminder for the whole year. They are from Liz Lamoreaux, I think she does a beautiful job.

I have been prepping some canvas with gesso but haven't felt good enough to paint yet. Hopefully soon. I have been attempting to do this post with my iPad which has been challenging to say the least. How is your day going?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

My Word For The Year

I don't do resolutions. I choose a word to focus on for the year. I usually choose a word for the year long before this date. It is not because I have been sick but more that I couldn't find a word I liked, that felt right, that I really resonated with.  That was until last night.  It became clear that my word should be


For awhile now I have been wanting to go deeper in my art. I talk about it but I just don't go there.  I think I stay on the surface where its comfortable.  I have bought all these canvasses but then I never paint on them.  I really want this year to be about going deeper. To go below the surface of what I think is possible, to face my fears and dig through all my self-imposed limitations and become an explorer of sorts.

This desire is not just concerning art either. I find that when I am writing in my journal its on the surface too, or when I write a blog post, or work on my novel writing.  I never go deep enough. I am sure it will include facing all sorts of fears that are holding me back.  I am also going to do another 100 Day Reality Challenge with this same focus. I want to look at where else am I on the surface, in the comfort zone, where am I not present in my own life.

It is bound to be an exciting journey. I don't want to live the same year over and over again.  I want growth, I want change. I know it might be messy but I am will to take the leap, to jump off the cliff, to go where I haven't gone before. Am I a little scared, you bet I am. A little fear never hurt anyone.  It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by Mark Twain.

 Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Have you chosen your word for the year? Tell me about it in the comments.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Painting Papers

During the time I have been sick I spent some time watching videos on Youtube.  I really liked this person's videos. Her channel  is called littlecanvasses. I am sharing two of them today but I recommend all of her videos. I knew I had to try some of the techniques right away.

I only had 2 sheets of white tissue paper on hand so I painted both of them.

I used the same color palette so they could go together in a project if needed.  The color was added using a gelli plate with stencils and then layers of stamping.

With a close up you can see some of the layers of color.

These pages are so big I can get about 4 journal pages out of them, or many cards. The papers turn out really rich. They photos don't do them justice.

This video is by the same woman and is about painting on newspaper.  I loved this technique.

Here are four pages of newspaper, they were made with gesso, spray inks, paint and stamping ink. I used stencils, foam rubber stamps and regular rubber stamps.

A close up shows some of the layers and texture.

This one is really more blue and green than the photo shows.

Here is a  journal page I did with some of the tissue paper.  It says "She was surrounded by grey skies and winter; but she craved color. I loved  both of these techniques and will be using them often.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Spending TIme With the Doctor

I am still feeling bad so I have been spending a lot of time with the Doctor. Who you might ask?  Just the Doctor.  I started with watching a few episode with the current Doctor, Matt Smith. I really didn't know what was going on so I headed to Netflix to watch the earlier season. There are episodes from the 60's but I didn't go back that far. I decided to start with Dr. 9 Christopher Eccleston. He was on for one season so after those I went on to Doctor #10 David Tennant. I am on his third season, working my way through all the episodes and they are really a lot of them.  Soon I will catch up on this series.  If you love scifi like I do this is a series to delight and amaze.  It took me awhile to get into it but now I love it. Some would say I am a little obsessed but its a good obsession.  It is making being sick a little more tolerable.

Some pages in my art journal, created this week.

These were cut out of two different magazine pages and combined. I just loved the colors. I used gelatos pastels to extend the colors.

More rocks in oil pastel.

and another graphite sketch.  A little bit of art always helps in the healing process.

Monday, January 7, 2013

I joined the CAPI group over at Milliande's site. It stands for Create Art Portfolio Ideas. Its a free course she is running for artists. Its about discover the artist you are, your style, where you get inspiration from and more.

To begin we are making all these small portfolio to hold our ideas. These are mine. Mostly I used old file folders and for the sketchbook I am using a Canson mixed media sketchbook which I covered with pretty paper. My raw sketchbook is a clipboard/drawing board where I attached watercolor, vellum bristol, tracing,sketching, red rosin and other misc papers . I think it going to be great to be exploring my artist self in this way.  You can check out details here

This mornings sketch when I couldn't sleep. This cold that I have has been really awful. I am so looking forward to the time when I can sleep again.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunday Sketches and Downton Abbey

I've been down with a cold and feeling quite miserable but I managed to make a sketch to share today.  As usual other sketchers can be found at Sophia's blog.

Tonight Downton Abbey begins, a series I have been looking forward to. I decided to participate in what is called A Mystery Knit A Long or KAL. The one I joined is tied in with Downton Abbey.  The colorway of the yarn is called Christmas at Downton. I found out about it on the knitting and crochet site Ravelry.

This is what the yarn looks like.  I think its quite pretty. We get our first clue today and will begin making a mystery project. We will get clues every week the show airs.  Initial info told me it has something to do with what the Maggie Smith character wears.  I'll keep you posted on what I end up making. It should be fun.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Lots of Slippers

I had friends from Salt Lake up for a long weekend. We ate and spun and knitted to hearts content and watched a lot of Dr. Who. If you like SciFi shows you will like Dr. Who. My friend Cyndi loves it too so we enjoyed watching episodes we had not seen on Netflix.

My friend Cyndi had this great slippers pattern so we all made them. First you knit them and then felt them. This is how they looked before felting. There is also a little sheep I made awhile ago but never finished.

Here are all the slippers all finished. I made the ones with the teal colored yarn, on the upper right. These were really fun to make.  You can use up a lot of small amounts of yarn.  I will be making more of these. I'll show the sheep once she is all stuffed and embellished. It was a great weekend I had lots of fun with my friends.  How did you ring in the New Year?